Sri Lanka arrests Buddhist monk for attacking Rohingya refugees at UN safe house | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Sri Lanka arrests Buddhist monk for attacking Rohingya refugees at UN safe house

The refugees had arrived in Sri Lanka five months ago after the Navy found them drifting in a boat off the country’s north coast.

world Updated: Oct 02, 2017 18:23 IST
Sri Lanka's Buddhist monk Akmeemana Dayarathana, who led hardline nationalists in an unruly protest against Rohingya Muslim asylum seekers last week, looks out from a prison bus in Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka on October 2.
Sri Lanka's Buddhist monk Akmeemana Dayarathana, who led hardline nationalists in an unruly protest against Rohingya Muslim asylum seekers last week, looks out from a prison bus in Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka on October 2.(REUTERS)

A Buddhist monk was on Monday arrested in Sri Lanka for leading a mob that allegedly attacked a group of Rohingya Muslim refugees, including 16 children, in a UN- run safe house and demanded their deportation to Myanmar.

Akmeemana Dayarathana was arrested after he reported this morning to record his statement at the police’s Colombo Crime Division. He and another monk was asked to report to the police on Sunday following the arrests of four others.

They were accused of storming a house of Rohingya refugees in a suburb here last week.

Dayarathana was later produced before the court which remanded him into custody till October 9.

Dozens of monks from Sri Lanka’s majority Buddhist community led a mob that barged into a UN-run safe house for Rohingya Muslims and attacked them, claiming that they were terrorists and should be sent back to Myanmar.

The attack on the refugee centre, which housed 31 Rohingya refugees, was led by Dayarathana’s radical Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa (Sinhalese National Force), which uploaded videos of the attack on their Facebook page.

The police had to relocate the Rohingya Muslims to a safe location in Boossa in the south of the country following the attack.

The arrests came after the government ordered a crackdown on the mob following the attack.

The refugees had arrived in Sri Lanka five months ago after the Navy found them drifting in a boat off the country’s north coast.

Earlier, a woman was among two persons arrested in Sri Lanka for allegedly attacking a group of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

In 2008 and 2012, two groups of Rohingya refugees had been rescued from the seas and accorded UNHCR facilities before being repatriated.

Nearly 500,000 refugees have crossed the border from Myanmar’s Rakhine State since August 25 when a military crackdown was launched following attacks on security forces allegedly by Rohingya militants.